The Imported Bridegroom

  • 1990
  • Movie
  • NR
  • Drama

Set in turn-of-the-century Boston, THE IMPORTED BRIDEGROOM is a quaint but slow-paced film that suffers from the obvious constraints of a small budget. Asriel Stroon (Gene Troobnick) is a grouchy, widowed landlord who emigrated from Poland as a young man and made his fortune in America. When he tries to raise the rent on an unemployed tenant, the tenant's...read more

Where to Watch

Available to Stream

  • Watch on
Rating:

Set in turn-of-the-century Boston, THE IMPORTED BRIDEGROOM is a quaint but slow-paced film that suffers from the obvious constraints of a small budget. Asriel Stroon (Gene Troobnick) is a grouchy, widowed landlord who emigrated from Poland as a young man and made his fortune in America.

When he tries to raise the rent on an unemployed tenant, the tenant's wife reminds Stroon that the landlord has not done much to insure his entry into Heaven. Returning to his well-appointed town house, Stroon announces to his daughter, Flora (Greta Cowan), and his housekeeper, Mrs. Birnbaum

(Annette Miller), that he is going to go back to the town of his birth, to try to rediscover the purity of spirit that he feels has been lost on his road to success in America. Back in Poland, Stroon provokes the jealousy of the rich men in his village, whose combined fortunes are not the equal of

his own. To get back at them for cheating him out of the prayer reading that he has bid for in the temple, Stroon sets his sights on persuading Shaya (Avi Hoffman), a brilliant young scholar, to be his daughter's husband. Unfortunately, this will not sit well with Flora, who is determined to marry

only a cultured American doctor. When Stroon returns to Boston with the shy young scholar, the headstrong Flora balks at the suggestion of marriage. Put off but not defeated by Flora's lack of enthusiasm for Shaya, Stroon is determined to see his daughter married to the pious young man, who will

spend the rest of his days studying sacred texts, thereby winning Stroon a place in Heaven for bringing his daughter such a "treasure." To help Shaya cope with his new country, Stroon hires a tutor to improve Shaya's broken English. The tutor lets Shaya read books on many different subjects,

opening his eyes to the world outside religious literature. Shaya begins to sneak these forbidden books into the house, but Stroon catches him, and tells the tutor not to come back. Meanwhile, Flora has begun to warm to Shaya, and she takes charge of his education after the tutor is fired. An idea

takes hold of her: what if Shaya were to become a doctor? Flora and Shaya conspire to continue his non-religious education, and the two find a common bond in their enthusiasm for learning. Soon, however, Stroon grows suspicious of Shaya's claim that he goes out every afternoon to pray at different

temples around the city. Following Shaya one afternoon, Stroon is shocked to witness the young scholar meeting with the fired tutor, going to the public library, and even eating in a non-kosher restaurant. In the restaurant, Stroon confronts Shaya, vowing that he will never allow Shaya to marry

Flora. But by this point, Shaya and Flora are in love, and they elope and have a civil wedding. When Stroon hears about this, he has no choice but to approve of the marriage; however, he insists that they have a religious ceremony as soon as possible. With all of his carefully laid plans in

disarray, Stroon throws caution to the wind and proposes to Mrs. Birnbaum, asking her to emigrate with him to the Holy Land, where he hopes to find the salvation that has eluded him. The couples are married in a double wedding, and Stroon seems to have found some peace of mind.

A well-intentioned but slightly deficient dramatization of a simple story, THE IMPORTED BRIDEGROOM suffers greatly from a lack of dramatic conflict, yet it succeeds in finding much humor in the clashes of will in Stroon's household. Director-writer Pamela Berger effectively re-creates the

atmosphere of turn-of-the-century Boston despite low-budget production values that are best exemplified by Shaya's pasted-on beard. While all the performances are good, particularly Cowan's portrayal of Flora, the film feels underpopulated; additional well-developed characters are needed to enrich

the story. Uneven editing also works against the film's success. Overall, THE IMPORTED BRIDEGROOM never quite reaches the level of charm to which it apparently aspires. (Adult situations.)

Coming Soon

Because it's never too early to plan Thursday night... two months from now.

Cast & Details See all »

  • Released: 1990
  • Rating: NR
  • Review: Set in turn-of-the-century Boston, THE IMPORTED BRIDEGROOM is a quaint but slow-paced film that suffers from the obvious constraints of a small budget. Asriel Stroon (Gene Troobnick) is a grouchy, widowed landlord who emigrated from Poland as a young man a… (more)

Show More »